DEESIDE Ramblers had mixed results in league and cup combat at the weekend.
On Saturday, six-goal Ghanzafar Ali helped them to a 7-5 league win over Alderley Edge.
Jonny Verity and John Helm were debuted and Verity earned Deeside three penalty corners they were able to capitalise on. Deeside were 3-0 up after eight minutes, but on the unreliable Macclesfield pitch mistakes were made and the lead had to be re-established.
Ali was on fire, scoring the highest individual tally in a Deeside league game while Ibrar Latif scored the other.
On Sunday the Ramblers lost 4-3 to Fareham in the English Hockey Cup. Ali was twice on target before injury forced him off while Hedley Pollard deflected home Russell Hornby's perfectly flighted ball.
Deeside 2nds staged a remarkable comeback to beat Prescot 3-2, despite being a man down through injury. Several players got knocks and they played most of the match with 10 men. After going 2-0 down at half time their ‘no surrender’ spirit kicked in.
Phil Brown scored two to establish parity and Martyn Lear scored the goal that clinched a well deserved victory.
Deeside 3rds are top of the table with a massive goal difference of plus 20 after a 6-0 drubbing of Lytham St Anne’s. Their finest performance of the season sent the second-placed team crashing down the table. Ed Lowe scored once, Phil Johnson scored twice while Tim Diggle netted a rare goal.
A wonder goal by Jimmy Dathan was not enough to save Deeside 7ths from going bottom with a 2-1 loss at Northop Hall.
Saturday saw a solid 3-1 win over Runcorn for Deeside Ramblers Ladies 2nds. A reverse flick goal by Lucy Pochin opened the scoring, quickly followed by a goal by Hannah Bowden. A break from Runcorn then forced Kate Burrows to make a great save off the line.
Runcorn scored a consolation goal before Sue Smith secured another goal for Deeside. Hilary Tweed was player of the match.
Chester lost an eventful and controversial top-of-the-table clash at Stockton 4-3. They started well but were soon two goals down following disputed umpiring decisions – and clinical finishing.
They fought back to level with well-worked goals from Stevie Hall and Matty Hyden.
One of the Stockton forward line was dismissed for violent conduct but, despite being in a strong position, Chester saw the game slip with an under-par second-half show.
Stockton scored two more goals and both sides had players controversially sidelined for strong tackles before Matty Hyden scored again.
Chester 5ths lost a very tough game 4-2 against Rhyl 3rds. Within the first minute a hand injury to Chester’s John Lewis meant a reshuffle at the back and Rhyl capitalised, scoring two quick goals. Reshuffled Chester pushed Rhyl back, resulting in John Irving deflecting in a Dan Haynes free-hit.
In the second half, Matt Warburton equalised. But Rhyl scored a breakaway third and added a late fourth. It was a day to forget for Chester 6ths as defender Phil Warren suffered a broken jaw late on in a 5-0 defeat to Oxton 6ths.